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Female aviators and fresh 'Taming of the Shrew'

(Shanghai Daily)

09:42, March 08, 2013

A scene from TNT Theater Britain's "The Taming of the Shrew" (Shanghai Daily)

Two major works by British troupes - "The Taming of the Shrew" and "The Vanishing Horizon" about female pioneers in aviation - will be staged next month at the Lyceum theater.

Idle Motion Britain will present the sell-out physical theater "The Vanishing Horizon" from April 12 to 14, in English with Chinese subtitles. TNT Theater Britain, one of the world's foremost touring companies, will return to town with Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew" on April 29, 30 and May 1. It will be performed in English with Chinese subtitles.

"The Vanishing Horizon" was selected for the British Council Showcase 2011. The spectacular piece of physical theater uses inventive staging, including battered suitcases, paper airplanes, puppets, maps and other vintage props.

"In the show we give wings to the female pioneers of aviation and the journeys they took, exploring the freedom they found in flight," says artistic director Paul Slater.

Interwoven with this is the modern-day story of a young woman's travels to discover the story of her estranged grandmother, who had fled the constraints of her life in post-war Britain to settle in South Africa.

Idle Motion is a young and innovative theater company based in Oxford. The upcoming show stars Grace Chapman, Sophie Cullen, Nicholas Pitt, Ellie Simpson and Kate Stanley.

"Amelia Earhart once said 'the lure of flying is the lure of beauty,' and that's the charm of this piece - it is simply beautiful theater - transporting you through crowded airports to the majesty of silent skies," the artistic director says.

TNT will stage a fast moving, musical and very funny "Taming of the Shrew," one of Shakespeare's most popular comedies. Commedia dell'arte, Elizabethan music and visual imagery inspired by Renaissance art combine with knock-about comedy and a ferocious battle of the sexes. The show stars Alan Mirren, George Mclean, Rick Clodfelter and Stacey Devonport.

Directed by the troupe's artistic director Paul Stebbings, the play follows Petruchio's efforts to tame headstrong Kate and claim her hand in marriage, as well as a slice of her foolish father's gold.

As in Shakespeare's day, live music will accompany the production, arranged by Scottish composer John Kenny. A five-part sung-score will be complemented by harpsichord, clarinet and percussion.

TNT has toured China since 2005, staging "Macbeth," "Oliver Twist," "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "Hamlet."

Founded in 1980, TNT has been staging Shakespeare worldwide for more than six years, all productions directed by Stebbings.

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